Change of Plan
Added: Mon. Oct 04, 2010 9:05am
Posted in: Marriage
I can be spontaneous, which is going to make this rant seem a bit out of place without a little history. A few years ago, we were supposed to go to visit my husband's family and friends in another state. We were also slated that year to spend a weekend a few hours away at my sister's wedding several months before. We went to my sister's wedding in august and that very weekend, I lost my job. The company just went out of business and everybody did. No advance warning. We attended my sister's wedding anyway because it was just a few hours drive, the accommodations were already booked and a deposit was in, plus, we were sharing a 3 bedroom condo on the beach with my mother and brother. If we didn't attend, half the family couldn't attend...and a substantial deposit would be lost. We went, and we had fun.
We did not make it to his vacation several months later. We were sinking in debt and I was struggling to find a way to make ends meet. He started to bitterly blame me, because in his mind, attending my sister's wedding was the reason we did not go to visit his family. He conveniently forgot that it was the loss of my income that made us poor, and can't calculate that if we had saved a few hundred dollars by not attending the wedding, it would have gone for bills within weeks. The money most certainly would not have been saved for 2 months for his vacation, and would not have been nearly enough if it had been somehow miraculously saved.
This year, he wanted to do the same. Two of his 5 weeks of vacation time spent with his friends and family in October. I agreed, but my family, none of whom I've seen since the wedding, was planning a family vacation in June and I also wanted to attend that. By now, most of our bills are back on track and we had a little money saved, and I've got a new job that allows enough time off to do things like this. He waffled about going on my family's vacation. More than waffled, he railed against it. He was furious that I insisted on going. But it was an inexpensive vacation because we were sharing 2 large houses in the mountains, and vacationing in the mountains is something he has always wanted to do. In all, it cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $800 to take 4 people on this vacation for 5 days....including gas, food, lodging, white-water rafting, shopping, tubing...etc. It just doesn't get cheaper than that.
A few weeks before my family vacation, his dad died. It was sudden and nobody saw it coming. Booth and his dad had been more or less estranged for years. No phone calls or communications were ever exchanged and news filtered down through the women in the family. He flew up there with our daughter. I could not take the time because I was in the middle of a project. The week he spent up there cost us $1200, between lost time at work, plane tickets and what he spent.
The death of his dad only made the guilt and anger about my family vacation more intense. He resented that I had gotten to see my dad only 2 years before, and blamed me for his not making it to vacation. Honestly, he can go see his family any time. Plane tickets are cheap and he can stay with them...and I am not offended if he wants to go without me. His problem is that he cannot stop hemorrhaging money while on vacation. It's drinking. He cannot do anything that doesn't include booze, and the more expensive it is, the better it tastes. So a $50 ballpark or concert ticket becomes a $150 day every time.
He can't see the irony in the fact that his anger and resentment is designed to keep me from seeing my dad, who is 6 years older than his was and has had a quadruple bypass, has diabetes and emphysema and can't possibly live much longer. Could he really think that preventing me from seeing my dad before he dies is some twisted form of justice? That I deserve to be prevented from seeing my family because he didn't get to see his? He's been complaining and hammering me about the vacation ever since. He was convinced that this would make his family vacation, once again, impossible. Once again, my selfish desire to see my family would cost him a chance to spend time with his family.
Early in September, we got a surprise. His father's pension plan sent us $11K. I paid some back bills, helped my mom with her home insurance for the year (since she has loaned us money in the past and needs help now) and we still have about $8K. With the October vacation looming and plenty of money in the bank, you'd think he'd stop complaining about my family vacation, but he has not.
This weekend, he decided we should take the sacred money, which I am expressly forbidden to waste (on things like the electric bill and groceries, which is all I spend money on), blow off the family vacation, and go to the Grand Canyon.
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